The first Gathering was a great experience and time of learning more about the freedom to praise the Creator and His Son Jesus with Native forms of worship. A new drum, created by Gerald Chapman of Longview, Washington, a wonderful Native brother, was introduced during the meeting and some of the young people had the opportunity to sing their praises, drumming with great joy and freedom.
Over 20 native and non-native people came to share a delicious meal, fellowship and the ministry of the Word. Pastor Ehud Garcia of the Nez Perce Presbyterian Churches spoke on the topic of worshiping in the Spirit and Truth– Staying true to God’s Word and our cultural heritage. His presentation was based on John chapter four, where Jesus opened the gates of worship to the nations and their different cultures when he told the Samaritan woman that the time had come when they would no longer worship the way they were accustomed to do. Instead, the true worshiper would worship in Spirit and in Truth.
This new approach to worship brought freedom to God’s people to express their faith in different ways, using different forms of instruments and worship. Pastor Garcia, who has a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Seminary, shared clearly that the use of different forms or instruments in worship is not a problem and not in contradiction to scriptural principles. The meaning behind any form is what is important. We are invited to give our forms of expression a new meaning, one that brings praise and glory to our Lord and Redeemer.